Big 12 Football Power Rankings – Week 5

In recent years, Big 12 football has essentially become a never-ending round of “Oklahoma dominates, everyone else tries to survive.” That mantra played out once again in Week 5.

While the top of the power rankings remain consistent, the constant rising and falling of all the teams between spots 3-9 has become a wild weekly adventure. What Big 12 teams apparently lack in consistency they make up for with great storylines.

1.       Oklahoma (LW: 1) Another week, another blowout victory for Oklahoma. The Texas Tech Red Raiders, unsurprisingly, were no match for the Sooners, who are now averaging a cool 55.5 points per game on the year to go along with their NCAA-best 668.5 yards per game. Plus, we’re four games in for OU and its defense still looks competent, which is a great sign of things to come. As unbelievable as it sounds, adding Jalen Hurts has almost made this team more dangerous than it has been the past two years.


2.       Texas (LW: 2) Texas didn’t play this week and there’s no reason to affect its standing in the rankings. The Longhorns just need to make sure they don’t overlook West Virginia this coming Saturday as they get ready for the Red River Shootout in two weeks’ time. That’s the only game that could shuffle things atop the power rankings.


3.       Oklahoma State (LW: 4) The dip to No. 4 didn’t last long for OSU, which wasn’t nearly as effective offensively this week as it usually is but relied on a strong defensive effort to keep Kansas State at bay. Chuba Hubbard is making a case to be the best running back in the country this year, a fact only exacerbated by his 296 yards in Saturday’s win. Having a running back that can massacre defenses like that is a great antidote for games in which quarterback Spencer Sanders struggles with turnovers (he had two interceptions this week).


4.       Kansas State (LW: 3) The pros for K-State start with its defensive effort this week, because it’s impressive to hold Oklahoma State under 30 points, even with Hubbard’s huge day. The cons begin with the offense, which was a complete no show in the Wildcats’ Big 12 opener. Skylar Thompson was as ineffective as ever and the running game was impotent at best, averaging less than four yards per carry as a team. The Wildcats deserve some benefit of the doubt after a strong start to the year, but they need Week 6’s matchup with Baylor to be a get-right game.


5.       Baylor (LW: 6) Baylor did everything in its power to give away its win over Iowa State on Saturday. It went up 20-0, gave it all away to fall behind late and then relied on a freshman’s first field goal attempt ever to win. Credit to Matt Rhule’s boys, they fought when it mattered most at the end of the game. This type of game is probably more so the norm for the Bears this year than the beatdowns over cupcakes we saw in the first two weeks of the season.


6.       TCU (LW: 7) While true that it was just Kansas that TCU beat this weekend, if you dominate a team that brutally then you deserve a rankings bump. Everything that needed to go right for the Horned Frogs did at home on Saturday. The running game was strong, freshman quarterback Max Duggan looked good throwing the ball and the defense was downright nasty. The next step for TCU is making sure all of these things are consistently present, not every-other-week attributes.


7.       Iowa State (LW: 5) All Iowa State has to hang its hat on this season is a blowout win of UL-Monroe. Other than that drubbing, the Cyclones have played three close games and haven’t looked particularly impressive in any of them. They did fight back against Baylor this week, but they weren’t able to get the job done. The preseason ceiling for ISU was a third-place finish in the Big 12, but they’ve looked middling at best through four games.


8.       West Virginia (LW: 9) The Mountaineers are getting a rare, debatably undeserved bye week bump. They didn’t play but are still riding high after a road win in Lawrence, however they get the unpleasant honor of hosting Texas next weekend.


9.       Texas Tech (LW: 8) On one hand, it’s unfair to trash every team that loses by a lot to Oklahoma. The Sooners do that to everyone. However, Texas Tech displayed some of the worst tackling you will ever see this weekend, and that alone is enough to justify this drop. Unfortunately for Matt Wells’ bunch, they have to face another electric Big 12 offense next week when Tech hosts Oklahoma State.


10.   Kansas (LW: 10) “Nightmare” is an appropriate word for the Saturday Kansas football just endured. Not only did the Jayhawks lose one of their best players and team captains to mysterious circumstances, but they were annihilated by TCU. It wasn’t as bad as the disaster in Fort Worth two years ago, but 159 total yards for a Big 12 offense is inexcusable. Growing pains are obviously a part of the present and near future for KU, but embarrassing blowout losses like this one need to stop for the Jayhawks to develop and real forward momentum.

For past editions of the power rankings, click here.